You’ve probably heard that fasting may be a good way to lose weight. It’s simple, free, and can work quickly.
Now a new study further supports the benefits of fasting, but suggests that you just have to skip your evening meal to get the positive effects. Could you do it?
The research, from the University of Alabama, tested an approach called early time-restricted feeding. During one four-day period, participants ate between 8am and 2pm. For the next four days they ate between 8am and 8pm. The same number of calories was eaten during each time period.
When participants avoided food after 2pm, fat burning was increased during the evening and night.
This was caused by ‘metabolic flexibility’, where the restricted time boosted the body’s ability to switch between burning fat and burning carbs.
However, even though more fat was burned in the evenings, overall fat burning didn’t actually increase.
But significantly, the participants who didn’t eat after 2pm didn’t report feeling hungrier than usual, despite 18 hours of fasting. This may have been due to them ‘front-loading’ their calories, making them less hungry at dinnertime. Also, eating earlier keeps you in alignment with your body’s circadian clock, which might help with fat burning.
This means that skipping dinner may be a viable way of managing your weight, without feeling too deprived.
David - I think this means that even though the fat burning wasn't increased overall, it was increased during the evening and night and improved metabolic flexibility. Also the participants weren't feeling so hungry as they might do on other fasting diets.
"However, even though more fat was burned in the evenings, overall fat burning didn’t actually increase." Sorry, why would I do this? Unless I'm interpreting this statement wrong, seems like there was zero impact?
is starvation mode real? I read the linked article but it doesn't mention how much fat burning increased. Whenever I see something like this, I fear I am a little sceptical as the increased calories burned seem to be a tiny amount. A couple of extra pieces of pasta and the effect is gone!
Not sure skipping meals is ever a good idea. I get that overall it's a way to reduce calorie intake but what about body going into starvation mode and saving all the fat you consume rather than processing it?